Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 24, 2010
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Citation: Webster, C.G., Kousik, C.S., Turechek, W., Roberts, P., Webb, S., Adkins, S.T. 2010. Effects of the watermelon vine decline virus on vining cucurbit germplasm including wild cucurbits. HortScience. 45(4):512 Technical Abstract: Squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV) is the casual agent of watermelon vine decline in south Florida, a disease that induces foliar chlorosis, necrosis and wilt, followed by plant death. Symptoms of wilt and death induced by SqVYV in watermelon have not been observed on any other known host species, all of which are in the family Cucurbitaceae. To examine the infection phenotype across a broader range of cucurbits, 21 vining cucurbit varieties in 11 species were grown to maturity and pollinated to produce fruit. Plants were subsequently inoculated with SqVYV and rated for visual symptoms of virus infection. Most species tested showed mild or no symptoms of virus infection, however three species showed wilting in petiole and leaf blades, and necrosis along vine tissue similar to SqVYV induced decline in watermelons. Virus distribution within infected vines was determined by nucleic acid hybridization assays and RT-PCR and found to be similar in declining and non-declining cucurbits. Screening of wild cucurbit germplasm has also identified watermelon relatives including Citrillus lanatus var. citroides lines that have increased resistance to vine decline. These results show that a wider range of cucurbits suffer SqVYV induced vine decline and that resistance to the decline may be found in wild watermelon relatives.